Every life deserves world class care. Our music therapy colleague Dr. Becky Wellman is part of that mission at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Nevada where she has developed innovative services providing music therapy for individuals with dementia while at the same time allowing respite time for their family members. In this AMTA-Pro podcast, Becky talks about all aspects of designing and implementing the MT Respite Program, including assessments, session format, adaptations, safety issues, and more. She also talks about the challenges of building trust with the patients, the staff, and the family members. The results of the survey as well as observations by the therapist and caregiver comments indicate the wide-spread positive impact of the program on all involved.

Music Therapy Respite: Creating a Community of Care for Families with Dementia


AMTA-Pro podcast + March 2019

Becky Wellman, PhD, LPMT, MT-BC

This AMTA-Pro podcast features our music therapy colleague Dr. Becky Wellman talking about her innovative music therapy respite program at the Cleveland Clinic which creates a community of care for individuals with dementia and their families. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides services for adults with neurodegenerative disorders & their families in keeping with the clinic’s philosophy, “Every life deserves world class care.” Individuals receiving care include those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple System Atrophy, and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Listen in as Becky tells of her successful and expanding program that provides specific music therapy services to the individuals while at the same time providing valuable respite time for their families. She will share her experiences and expertise in the following:
1. What is Music Therapy Respite?
2. Designing the MT Respite Program
3. Assessments for the MT Respite Program
4. Session Format
5. Adaptations
6. Building Trust: Positioning, Validation, Acceptance, Choices, Humor
7. Building trust with caregivers: Observation, validation, listening and response, reassurance, support
8. Keeping Patients Safe
9. Data Collection
10. Results of Caregiver Survey
11. Results observed by therapist
12. Results reported by Caregivers

About the Speaker

Becky Wellman, PhD, LPMT, MT-BC is the music therapist at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Wellman has been practicing music therapy for over 20 years and has been involved as a presenter, Emergency Response representative, Assembly Delegate, CBMT Continuing Education Committee member, WRAMTA scholarship & professional award committee member, Government Relations representative, and as local chair for the AMTA national conference in St. Charles, IL (2012). She is a member of The Smith Center’s Sensory Friendly Performances Committee helping plan events for community members with special needs including a sensory friendly performance of Disney’s The Lion King. Dr. Wellman has completed additional training in Neurologic Music Therapy, Bonny Method of GIM (Level One), REMO HealthRHYTHMS, Music Together, Sprouting Melodies, Psychological First Aid, and others. She is also adjunct instructor of human services at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana focusing on elder care.

Contact Information

Becky Wellman, PhD, LPMT, MT-BC

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